Networking – Is it a necessary evil or do you thrive on it?

Do you network? Do you network face-to-face? Or simply use social media?  Does confidence stop you? Or do you thrive on it?
I’ve been networking all my life, I just hadn’t realised it until recently.  Its become particularly important to me since my role was relocated and I faced redundancy.

I knew it was coming but I hadn’t really anticipated the shock of having no work colleagues.  I also found that although I am very active on facebook, most of my facebook friends were at work during the day and not around to play until evening time.
So I’ve joined 4N, a particularly sociable way to formally network and this has been a fantastic way of replacing all those lost work colleagues.  And its not all about touting for business.  Its actually a very good way of connecting and getting to know people.  In the few short months I’ve been attending my local 4N meetings, I’ve met 3 web designers, 2 word smiths, a computer expert, accountants, legal professionals, recruitment agents etc etc.  All of whom are happy to answer simple questions and because you’re part of their network, often a little advice comes free.
In some cases I’ve even managed to organise skills swops.
Whether you’re looking for work or wanting to develop your business there are lots of great networking organisations out there.  You’ll need to develop your elevator pitch and be prepared to speak out but its fun why not have a go.
The PadTastic Elevator Pitch
What are your experiences of networking?  Do you find you have to do it or want to do it? Have you found a fun and different way of networking?  Please share your ideas here:
 If you find that confidence is stopping you getting involved then why not speak to Reflections to see about getting a confidence booster session for networking.
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